MotoGP

Vinales heads Misano MotoGP test, Morbidelli absent with illness

San Marino Grand Prix poleman Maverick Vinales topped the one-day MotoGP test at Misano on Tuesday on his works Yamaha, while race winner Franco Morbidelli was absent through illness.

The paddock returned to the Misano circuit just two days after the San Marino GP for the only in-season test of 2020 as a result of COVID-19-related restrictions.

San Marino GP race winner Morbidelli was absent owing to a stomach upset, while Tech3 elected to bench Iker Lecuona as KTM felt he wasn’t experienced enough to help with development work – the Austrian marque now banned from in-season testing with race riders after losing its concessions.

Split across two sessions, it was the KTM of Pol Espargaro – who had a new chassis amongst other things to test – who topped the morning outing with a 1m32.054s.

This time stood as the benchmark for much of the rest of the day, before Vinales on the factory Yamaha deposed him on the combined times 15 minutes into the final hour of the second session.

Vinales fired in a 1m31.532s not too long after he crashed going through the left-hander at Turn 6.

Yamaha had the most noticeable update, with the works team rolling out a large new exhaust for Vinales and Valentino Rossi to try in a bid to improve rideability and power.

Rossi and Vinales also had a new chassis to try, though neither reportedly found it to be much of an improvement, while also working on a new carbon swingarm.

Vinales held onto top spot as the second session came to a close, with LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami trailing him 0.271 seconds adrift.

The Honda rider – who crashed this morning – was given the 2020 bike to try for the first time, while also working on improving his 2019-spec bike over Misano’s vicious bumps after struggling to ninth in the race.

Johann Zarco completed the top three on his Avintia Ducati, though had a bizarre incident at the end of pitlane with just over an hour to go – with the Frenchman somehow damaging the front fairing of his GP19.

Just moments later, team-mate Tito Rabat’s engine expired exiting the final corner, necessitating a brief red flag period to check the track for oil.

Pol Espargaro was fourth, with Alex Rins heading Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir in fifth, as both worked on a new swingarm – which neither were hugely convinced by.

Francesco Bagnaia only completed 26 laps in the first session before calling it a day as to not stress his broken leg too much.

The Misano podium finisher felt his bike was even better than on Sunday and headed Andrea Dovizioso, who also finished the test early, in seventh.

World championship leader Dovizioso struggled across the San Marino GP, but numerous set-up changes and new parts allowed him to make a step forward for this weekend’s Emilia Romagna GP.

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas SRT) and KTM’s Brad Binder completed the top 10, with Alex Marquez on the works Honda heading Pramac’s Jack Miller – who had numerous technical issues across the day – and Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira, who crashed in the first session.

Aprilia had numerous updates to try, including a rear holeshot device it aims to develop into the on-lap version Ducati has been racing this year.

Aleix Espargaro was 13th, with Bradley Smith 14th. Rossi was 1.4s off the pace in a low-key 17th on his Yamaha.

The majority of the field also tried the new radio warning system for the first time, with the initial reaction generally positive – though some issues had to be worked out.

Misano test session 2 results

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m31.532s 45
2 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 0.271s 31
3 Johann Zarco Avintia Ducati 0.367s 39
4 Alex Rins Suzuki 0.582s 33
5 Joan Mir Suzuki 0.630s 20
6 Pol Espargaro KTM 0.723s 31
7 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 0.804s 56
8 Brad Binder KTM 0.921s 42
9 Alex Marquez Honda 0.948s 41
10 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 0.978s 23
11 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1.033s 14
12 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1.058s 48
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1.118s 35
14 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1.147s 44
15 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1.414s 43
16 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1.774s 34

Misano test session 1 results

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m32.054s 42
2 Joan Mir Suzuki 0.128s 55
3 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 0.153s 26
4 Alex Rins Suzuki 0.179s 43
5 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.236s 45
6 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 0.244s 45
7 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 0.265s 47
8 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 0.299s 51
9 Johann Zarco Avintia Ducati 0.391s 57
10 Alex Marquez Honda 0.462s 52
11 Miguel Oliveira KTM 0.475s 37
12 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 0.481s 30
13 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 0.572s 44
14 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 0.767s 44
15 Brad Binder KTM 0.803s 36
16 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 0.892s 47
17 Bradley Smith Aprilia 1.374s 46
18 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1.406s 37

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